From the vast deserts of the north to the sweeping forests, lakes, and grazing lands of the south, Chile boasts some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes it is possible to see in the Americas. Currently the most developed country in all of Latin America, and with a fascinating history dating back to even before Inca and Mapuche rule, embarking to adventure travel in Chile will be the opportunity to explore a truly enriching and prosperous South American nation. Get ready to learn a lot, and have even more fun adventuring abroad in Chile!
Because of its distinct shape – stretching nearly 3,000 miles from north to south, but just over 200 miles from east to west – Chile encompasses a wide diversity of ecosystems and landscapes within the Southern Cone of the Americas. Chile borders Peru and Bolivia to the north, Argentina to the east, the Drake Passage to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west; it also lays claim to several Pacific Islands, and even has a stake in Antarctica.
As the capital and largest city, Santiago is usually the top city destination you will visit while you adventure travel in Chile. Sitting under the shadow of the Andes Mountains and surrounded by sprawling vineyards, Santiago has been a major South American hub of politics, economics, and culture ever since its earliest roots in the 16th century. Today it is an important global city and recognized as one of the largest and most influential in all the Americas.
Other destinations you might visit while you adventure travel in Chile include Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and Curico. Every adventure travel program in Chile will have a distinct itinerary which will take you to different locations throughout the country, so make sure to take this into account while researching all your options!
Adventure Travel in Chile
You’ll likely engage in a wide range of activities while you adventure travel in Chile, depending on what type of program you choose to embark on and the specific locations you are visiting. For example to name just a few, along the country’s extensive coastline you may undertake such activities as sea kayaking, snorkeling, or scuba diving, while further inland you may engage in trekking, horseback riding, or cycling.
Of course, adventure travel programs in Chile are not solely based on adrenaline; many will also focus on cultural and environmental studies as well. Learning about the land you are travelling and the cultural heritage of its people can be a crucial part of adventure travel in Chile, giving you a much deeper context in which to appreciate the country. Through education and volunteer work, you will take much more away from your adventure!
Most adventure travel programs in Chile last for a few weeks, with the opportunity to shorten or lengthen your stay depending on personal preferences and availability. Remember that because Chile is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed from the north, and so October through March are actually the warmest months to travel.
Costs & Affordability
Adventure travel programs in Chile can be expensive, but the good news is that Chile itself is a fairly affordable country to travel. You will likely pay upfront in program fees for expenses such as housing, meals, and transportation, and on top of this it’s a good idea to carry around some pocket money for souvenirs and entertainment. The local currency in Chile is the peso, which exchanges at roughly 650 CLP to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
Because most adventure travel programs in Chile move around a lot between destinations, you will likely make use of a variety of different accommodations during your trip. Hotels or hostels might be the norm, while many programs may additionally offer up non-traditional options like camping or staying at a ranch. It’s a good idea to scout out several different itineraries to get a sense of what kinds of housing are offered while you adventure travel in Chile.
Citizens of many countries are allowed to visit Chile for up to 90 days before obtaining visa documentation, while others may have to obtain a visa prior to arrival. For more information about the country’s visa policy toward your home nation, check out our Chilean Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Diverse Landscapes. From north to south, the Chilean countryside features a tremendous diversity of geographical features ranging from the slopes of the Andes to the arid Atacama desert to the grasslands of Patagonia. Simply put, it’s awe-inspiring.
Language Immersion. While most adventure travel programs in Chile will not require you to speak Spanish in order to participate, this is a great opportunity for learners of the language to take their fluency to the next level.
Deep History. From the early days of the Inca and Mapuche people through colonization and independence to the country’s struggles under a dictatorship in the latter decades of the 20th century, Chile’s history is full of fascinating twists and turns that you will learn all about.
Taking the leap to adventure travel in Chile is the opportunity to explore a beautiful country and landscape while learning all about a fascinating region of the world. Are you ready for a great journey ahead?